Escaped prisoner found in Dracut
Salem police said Miguel Caraballo, 37, who escaped outside superior court this week, was found and arrested in Dracut on Thursday night.
A statewide search for Caraballo was set into motion after his escape Wednesday morning. The Lawrence resident remained on the loose for nearly two days after fleeing from state custody outside Salem Superior Court.
Charges may be filed against the defendant for evading police, in addition to the state and federal charges he currently faces, including home invasion and kidnapping.
Caraballo was dressed in orange prison clothes and shackled at the hands, feet and waist when he slipped away from correctional officers at about 8:05 a.m. Wednesday.
He was at the courthouse for a pretrial conference for his case, said Paul Fleming, a spokesman for the Essex County Sheriff’s Office.
“He somehow managed to shuffle away from the gentlemen who were watching him,” said Fleming.
Caraballo got into a white Nissan Maxima, which authorities believe was driven by a woman, possibly his girlfriend.
Almost an hour after the escape, police found the stolen Maxima, with the shackles inside, on Kimball Court, a small street next to the Salem Witch Museum near Salem Common.
Correctional officers were watching about 10 other prisoners at the time of Caraballo’s escape, Fleming said.
Caraballo, whose last known address is at 243 Prospect St. in Lawrence, had been held in the Middleton jail since April 16 on $100,000 cash bail.
He had been charged with home invasion, kidnapping, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, larceny of a motor vehicle and larceny over $250 in connection with an incident in Haverhill in December 2007. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
He also was being held on federal charges that he violated the conditions of release on a federal conviction of conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property when he allegedly committed the home invasion.
“He’s certainly not a nice person,” Fleming said, noting Caraballo has a long criminal record.
The state police Special Tactical Operations team arrested Caraballo in April on the second floor of 10 Prince St. in Lowell, and he had been incarcerated since then. The Essex County District Attorney’s Office said at the time that police had burst into the residence after Caraballo said he would use any means necessary, including a shootout with police, to avoid being re-arrested and returned to prison.
A few years ago a prisoner receiving treatment at a local hospital barricaded himself in a room in an attempt to avoid returning to jail, Fleming said, but that man was contained in the building the entire time. Incidents where the defendant remains at large are “very, very rare,” Fleming said.